Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed.
The alarm would go off, and I would think, do I HAVE to wake up?
I don’t want to cook the family breakfast.
Do I have to work today?
One morning, I woke from a dream where I had created street art from homeless people’s signs.
For years I thought about it.
But it remained only an idea.
Finally, one day, I drove to downtown Chicago.
I walked the streets and approached the homeless.
I explained that I was creating a street art piece.
I offered to buy their sign.
Most joyfully traded me their sign for the cash.
Others struggled to decide.
Giving up their sign meant searching for supplies to create a new one.
With each encounter, I learned about their backgrounds.
I heard stories from veterans with PTSD, tragic deaths of family members, and lost jobs.
The experience had a profound impact on me.
I took the signs home and assembled them into a 6 ft x 4 ft collage that I call Gratitude.
The artwork hangs in my bedroom.
It’s the first thing I see every morning.
Now when I wake up, I remember the stories I heard.
I imagine what the people behind those signs would do to wake up healthy with family and a job.
If I struggle with motivation, I remind myself that I don’t HAVE to wake up.
I GET to wake up.